Lifehack: RSS Reader Fu: Heavy Traffic folder

I’m a heavy RSS user; one of those 4% of web users who read their content via a news reader. I’m a Google Reader user myself, but in the past I’ve tried many feed readers: I even registered both FeedDemon (for Windows) and NetNewsWire (for Mac OS X); both have since been bought by NewsGator and are now free -_-;… But ever since Google Reader got that major upgrade, that’s where it’s been at for me.

Anyway, a common problem with RSS reader users is they suffer from too-much-unread-post-itis. If I don’t read my feeds, in two days I’ll have 1000+ unread items.

Here’s my tip: if your reader lets you put one subscription into many folders, make a ‘heavy traffic’ folder, and put all those feeds that publish far too many posts, and that you only read when you have copious amounts of time. I have Slashdot,  Techmeme, Joystiq, Wired News, and 901am in my folder, with many more to be copied there.  Now when you’re feeling the overflow, you just mark that entire folder as read, and your unread count will drop substantially, and you won’t feel so bad anymore!

Quicksilver is dead. Long live Spotlight!

Recently because of a permissions issue with my public folder on GlutBlack, my black MacBook, I created a new administrator user with the intention of porting all the important data from my old user to the new user. I’ve had a few hassles doing so, but I’ve learned a fair bit. Like how much I don’t really miss Quicksilver.

I was previously using Quicksilver, but I never bothered to set it up on my new user, and instead decided to try out Leopard’s new Spotlight – to great effect!

The one thing I detested about Spotlight in Tiger was the fact that the default choice was “Show All”, but now in Leopard it’s the Top Hit, which is usually what I’d want. The other thing was Quicksilver had a calculator function, but the new Spotlight has a calculator feature, which is live, unlike Quicksilver!

And because I managed to score the MacHeist this year, I received a copy of CoverSutra which totally surprised me with its awesomeness; like a sneaky ninja springing out from the ceiling, katana unsheathed, cleaving my mind, but in a totally awesome way, as ninjas are prone to do.

Gmail gets IMAP support

I haven’t tested Gmail‘s new IMAP support thoroughly yet, but I’m pretty excited about it. POP does have its problems and limitations, specifically Gmail’s 450-messages-per-check-for-new-mail. And the fact that sometimes you’ll get duplicates of the same mail, and the fact that when you change file or delete something in your mail client, such as Thunderbird, Apple Mail ( or Microsoft Outlook (hah, no link for you!), the change is not reflected when you log back into Gmail.

It’s no surprise that Gmail has pushed this out solely because of the iPhone and it’s built-in mail client that requires IMAP — no POP support for you, iPhone owner, you lucky dogs you.

I’ve been using Gmail since June 16th 2004, and started using it as my main email client in October 2005, and haven’t looked back! Its got a whole lot of great features: Google Talk (XMPP) integration, conversation threading, excellent spam filter, address book, filters.

But I’m most ecstatic because I can finally have my Gmail offline, thanks to IMAP! I can carry my laptop with me, and know that I can access that message I received a few weeks back because a copy is stored right there on my laptop, and if I do anything with it, it’s going to be accessible through the Gmail web interface! That and templated messages… 🙂

If you want Gmail IMAP, you just need to log into your Gmail, click on Settings in the upper right, and click on Forwarding and POP/IMAP, and follow instructions there. If you don’t have that option there, log out of Gmail and log back in.  Failing that, wait a couple days and everyone will have this feature enabled on their account.

Firefox on Mac OSX, fixed!

My biggest gripe I’ve ever had with my Mac experience has been with my favorite of applications: Firefox.

My place of employment, Natcoll, uses an internal proxy to ‘measure and protect’ bandwidth usage. Because I take my MacBook to and from work, I have to tell my mac to switch to my Natcoll network location, so that everything that needs to get online knows to use Natcoll’s proxy.

Doing that manually was a hassle, but now with Marco Polo 2.0.1 automatically changing my network locations better than ever, that’s been solved. I tried Marco Polo when it was 1.0 but it didn’t have all the evidence sources that I needed, but it’s all good now 🙂

Even with Marco Polo to reconfigure my network settings for me, it wouldn’t affect Firefox — Firefox doesn’t look at the operating system’s settings, and just uses it’s own damn settings. This is true on all platforms. Camino for OS X watches Network Location, but Camino doesn’t have all the neat plugins that Firefox does.

Turns out my solution for this was… yet another Firefox plugin! Specifically, System Proxy, which gets Firefox to inspect OS X’s Network Location for proxy settings! Hooray! Firefox plugins, is there anything you can’t do?

So with Marco Polo and System Proxy, I can just pop my computer open at home and at the office and have it just connect, without me having to worry about it, which is the way these things are supposed to work, right?